Skip to main content

At the Dallas Museum of Art

I spent the afternoon at the Dallas Museum of Art with my hosts, Ava and Robert Everett, Carter Scaggs (printmaking professor at Collin County Community College where I am doing the workshops), and the lovely Karen and Amy (printmaking students). Funny thing, something I didn't expect, is that people were trying to play down my expectations for the museum -- funny, because the cliche of the Texan is that they boast about how everything is bigger and better. It turns out that in this case, the museum may not be a mega church for art like MOMA in New York or the Art Institute, but it is a very good museum indeed. On four floors, it houses collections of ancient Mexican art, Greek and Roman art, polynesian art, American and European art, with fantastic examples of each kind. As I wandered around from gallery to gallery, I decided to take pictures not just of complete paintings, but of sections of paintings that caught my attention.

For example, the DMA had a few really early paintings by Piet Mondrian (from 1916 or so) near one of his classic geometric paintings from 1938. I saw marks in the early paintings that were pretty similar to the classic abstract style:



I loved this loose section of a picture by Manet:



The contrast between the abstract solidity of the apple and the loose impressionism of the tablecloth in this 1924 painting by Matisse:


The unexpected red in the bottom left of a seascape by John Marin:


The complexity of the intersecting shapes in a great south-sea painting by Gauguin:


Well done, Dallas!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

On my 300th blog post

Crikey!

It's my 300th blog post. And I seem to remember that in my 200th blog post I said that I would start quoting from John Ruskin's "Praeterita", after which this blog was named. Well, better late then never, so quotation number 2 is below.

First, though, some thoughts on this blog and blogging in general. I started Praeterita at the end of last year after reading a book by an art-marketing guru called Alyson Stansfield that recommended it as a means for artists to publicise their work better. But from the start I thought it would be more interesting to talk in a discursive way about my wider interest in art, and artists, and the history of art. After a desultory beginning where I only posted once a week, my blogging habit has now grown to the point where I am posting sometimes twice a day, and more than 45 times per month (helped enormously by the Blogger feature that lets you save blog posts with a post-dated timestamp, so that you can put posts in the bank to …

My worst open studio

Most open studios are notable for nothing really happening. You sit there waiting for people to come into your studio, eat all your nibbles and guzzle the free drink, and then leave after a cursory glance at your work. Usually, the worst thing that happens is that you get stuck in a boring conversation with a dull person,

But there was one time a few years ago when I got into one of these conversations, and quite quickly the person I was talking to started to make homophobic remarks about another artist in the building. After a few minutes, I decided I'd had enough and asked him to leave. He seemed genuinely surprised that I had any objection to what he was saying, which in retrospect makes me even angrier if he thought he had a sympathetic ear.

He asked me why, and I told him I didn't like people talking that way, and I said: "This conversation ended 30 seconds ago." So he left.

So, nothing dramatic like Jackson Pollock getting drunk in a fancy New York apartment a…

Van Gogh on Degas

From a letter dated July 31, 1888:
“Why do you say Degas can’t get it up properly? Degas lives like some petty lawyer and doesn’t like women, knowing very well that if he did like them and bedded them frequently, he’d go to seed and be in no position to paint any longer. The very reason why Degas’s painting is virile and impersonal is that he has resigned himself to being nothing more than a petty lawyer with a horror of kicking over the traces. He observes human animals who are stronger than him screwing and f—ing away and he paints them so well for the very reason that he isn’t all that keen on it himself.”
Subscribe to Praeterita in a reader